Cassie Leon, from The Cocoa Butter Club, chats to Nick Cousin about their upcoming performance at the Ironworks Studio in Brighton on Friday, 22nd October.
Cassie (She/Her), is the producer of the cabaret collective The Cocoa Butter Club, which was formed in 2016 by Sadie Sinner. Sadie wanted to address the underrepresentation of black queer performers in the cabaret scene. Through The Cocoa Butter Club, producers could find black queer talent for their variety shows. However, with the growing success and popularity, Cassie explains that the Cocoa Butter Club is now “a cabaret collective that is dedicated to celebrating and showcasing performers of colour. We really highlight the experiences and stories of black and people of colour but also queer experiences in and around the world. This is through the art of cabaret, which could be the art of drag, hula-hoops, roller skating, pole dancing, fire breathing, all the above!”.
Cocoa Butter Club’s aims are cleverly summarised in their tag line ‘Decolonising and Moisturising’. Cassie explained that ‘Decolonising’ refers to changing how we think about different genres, for example, ballet, cabaret, burlesque, etc. Cassie explains that the “images that always come to our head are white bodies doing a certain activity, which makes it seem exclusive to whiteness. And actually, it is not at all. Black people and people of colour are equally as capable of performing different genres of work so The Cocoa Butter Club exists to highlight the fact. While ‘Moisturising’ refers to Cocoa Butter being associated with people of colour, like a lick of paint.